LUSH Sikkim Girls: Don’t Be Seduced.


 I have remained unimpressed by LUSH Series 2 Gorilla perfumes, although admittedly I have only tried three of them. I now come to the third and final LUSH Gorilla perfume in my possession: Sikkim Girls. Legend has it that the Sikkim Girls were dangerous seductresses who would attract men with their sensual swaying from side to side. The exotic line drawing on the bottle is a lovely, if rather menacing, illustration of this pair of minxes.

 I was so ready to like Sikkim Girls. It opens with Jasmine: a loud, floaty yellow cloud of it.  Sadly , this is not a good Jasmine. It reminded me of the kind of 99p perfume oils you would buy on a market stall. Or even,  public toilets  with the added gentility of Council supplied air freshener.  Jasmine can often have an indolic quality which may be why it makes people think of toilets, but I  reckon if I can handle Serge Lutens Sarrasins, I can handle anything.

 Just as I was  considering washing it off, the Frangipani kicked in. This did nothing to change my mind  and just left a nasty taste in my mouth, liking eating Bakewell Tart in a tiled lavatory. The Vanilla background reminded me of the dreaded Furze (my sofa still smells of it five weeks after my sons decanted a 7ml bottle of it onto the arms).  So what have we got? Cheap Jasmine toilet freshener against an oversweet synthetic Almond and Vanilla background.

 It baffles me why last year’s Gorillas were so good and why this years’ are so bad (again, I have only tried three, to be fair to LUSH). There was an excellent post recently from Another Perfume Blog who came up with an interesting theory:

” It makes me wonder if the Constantines are evolving as perfumers in a way that perhaps every perfumer does, with the difference that—because they own their own shop—they are selling what they make at each stage, where a perfumer working for a big brand might consider such products to be part of the learning process, or to be early-stage accords to be fleshed out into a perfume.”

I agree with this theory: these perfumes smell unfinished, or even crude to my nose. When I think of how lovely violetty Tuca Tuca was, I find it hard to believe that the same perfumers made this awful mess.

Another fact that shocked me is that the Jasmine that I find so cheap smelling is Jasmine Absolute. And yet never before has it smelled so trashy.

At £27.50 for a little 25 g bottle, it’s not the cheapest, despite how it smells. If I had £27.50 to spend on perfume, I can think of twenty other things I would rather do with it.


11 thoughts on “LUSH Sikkim Girls: Don’t Be Seduced.”

  1. When Gorilla Perfumes released their recent (last year?) rash of fragrances, including Sikkim Girls, I made the trip to Cardiff to try them on the Smelly Bus. I was significantly underwhelmed. I know what you mean about them feeling unfinished. I ended up buying The Devil’s Nightcap, because its oak mossy. But I”d have to layer it with something else to feel I was wearing a whole perfume. (Maybe it would work under my current lashings of eau de cologne.)

    And I was seriously annoyed that the marketing bods at Lush hadn’t released Lord of Goathorn, which is reputedly a whopping scary honker of seaweed and sulphur. I wanted to smell the scary! I doubt I’d buy it, but it’s like wanting to see the big roller coaster, even if you’re way too chicken to ride on it. I wanted to experience the ‘whoa, REALLY? DAMN!’

    Wanders off, grumbling, to apply some more Roget & Gallet edc.

    1. Dearest Wordlbird- we would have made a great team on that day! the Good Cop/Bad Cop of perfumistas. The Cagney and Lacey of controversial fragrance ranges! Even your car is Lavender.

      Do you think some of the names are a bit witchy? I know they consulted a White Witch when making Smell of Weather Turning (which I love), but if Lord of Goathorn isn’t Wiccan then I’m a Banana.

      As I said in my comment to the Dandy, as much as I disliked the recent stuff, I still applaud the fact that they are banging their own drum and singing their own song.

  2. Dearest Iscent
    I too read APB’s assessment of Gorilla’s latest offerings and whilst I probably like them slightly more than you, as curiosities more than anything else, I can’t help but agree that there is something unkempt and underdone about them.
    However, and I am repeating myself here I know, it must be said that this house is not alone in releasing its ‘demo tapes’, what else are the endless flankers that the likes of Mugler thrust upon the world but incomplete musings on an apparently endlessly elastic theme.
    At least these have some originality, perhaps in some instances a surfeit!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    1. Dear Mr Dandy,

      I quite agree about the unkempt nature of these, which is something I would normally be open to. However, to be disappointed three times in a row was a blow. Euphoria was especially bitter- like poison- warning me off, Furze was Cyanide and Vanilla and Sikkim Girls just smelled like a trainee’s first draft, which I know it is not.

      I also agree that originality should always be celebrated and despite my dislike of this range, I give a little muted cheer that they didn’t go down the crowd pleaser route and sell bottles of “Strawberry Floss” or ” Vanilla FruitBowl”.

  3. Enjoyed reading your analysis of this one, which is a fascinating case study of what goes right and wrong with this line, isn’t it? I realize our individual assessments are just that, but it’s always nice to hear more perspectives. Thanks for the link!

    1. Thank you Natalie, I’m glad you liked my post. I was relieved to read that I wasn’t the only one who found the latest Gorillas difficult. I just think they smelled really amateur and when you wrote that they smelled transitional rather than finished, it rang a bell with me and helped me to put my finger on why I don’t like them.

  4. BUM! I really like Sikkim Girls, though I did not purchase. I found it fun and funky and it has a jasmine that I can smell, most jasmine I know is there but it kind of bypasses my ability to enjoy it properly.
    I will need to revisit it, there’s a decant here somewhere…….
    Portia xx

    1. Hi Portia, always a pleasure, never a chore when you drop in.

      I have grown to love Jasmine over the years and am a particular fan of SL Sarrasins. However, the Jasmine in Sikkim Girls, despite being the real deal, was just horrible to my nose. It smelled cheap and nasty but was actually Jasmine absolute. Made no sense.

      You might have more luck. xxxx

  5. Gorilla perfumes don’t seem entirely truthful about their ingredient lists.

    Imogen Rose for example. It doesn’t list civet in the mix. Years ago I was attempting to create something that mimicked Ombre Rose after reading a couple of articles about it’s creation. The product of this experiment had an ALMOST identical ingredient list and smelled ALMOST the same…except mine has no civet.

    The reason Sikkim doesn’t smell like jasmine is because it isn’t. The primary scent of thid fragrance is from the flower Mesua ferrea, Cobra Saffron or Sri Lankan Ironwood. I bought some a few years ago due to what could only be called olfactory curiosity. The flower in play is clearly this one. It’s a good rendition too and Cobra Saffron is tricky to work with, like vetiver, it likes to sing solos when you are looking for a choral sound. Given it’s a natural though , no idea why they don’t list it.

    I also swear there’s some kind of laundry musk up front of Karma…

    1. Hello Violette and welcome- what a beautiful name! I am so releived I am not a lone voice. I love a lot of things about LUSH, but this was not one of them! Your post is an education and I had no idea about any of the facts that you have so kindly shared. Thank you so much. It’s very interesting to learn that it is not actually Jasmine Absolute. I’m kind of relieved- I usually like Jasmine. I am so glad you dropped by to comment and hope you will again xx

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